one drink.

she wanted to, oh god she wanted to, but she couldn't. she shouldn't. she knew if she had another drink she'd miss the bus and she couldn't afford to do that. she had to go home.

let's just stand here and talk, she said, nudging him playfully, tucking her thick hair behind her ears, batting her lashes as best she could.

and they did. they stood at that bus stop under the soft moonlight. they stood in the cold air. they stood and they talked. there were others waiting with them. perhaps there were many. their voices barely buzzed in her ear. their existence a footnote on the page.

all she could see was his pale, red mouth curling to a grin, his eyes flashing as he spoke, his left hand resting in his jacket pocket. she'd never seen anyone lean so gracefully. like he just walked out of a black-and-white movie.

it seemed like years that they stood there. it could have been, and she wouldn't have noticed her aging skin and dulling sight. she would have been content.

but still, the bus came too soon.

all of a sudden it was there and she had to get on quick or it would leave without her. so they fell into each other's arms and said stupid, nervous shit like thank you and write me and oh god i guess i should go now, and he kissed her on her forehead and she stumbled onto the bus in a starry-eyed stupor because he kissed her and it must have been the sweetest kiss she'd ever gotten in her life.

hammersmith, she blurted to the driver, but she didn't notice the ticket dangling from the machine or her change sitting in the cup.

she dropped her bags on the seat beside her and smiled at him through the open bus door. he stood there, raised his left arm as if to wave, then back down, back into his pocket. and she knew she would always see him standing there, grin wide, eyes alive, just leaning, like he had no place else to go.